October 24, 2014
Only two months in the United States and Cyril Hansen-Quartey is just like any other American teenager. He is one of eight international students here at Monmouth from Ghana.
Instead of partying his first year away, he has plans. A first year accounting major, Hansen-Quartey has chosen to mainly focus on his studies.
“My leisure time has changed since I was in Ghana. In Ghana I would read books and watch movies, but here since it’s so stressful all I do is study,” said Hansen-Quartey.
During his limited free time, he has other interests and passions. There are some things that he is interested in trying once he gets more acclimated to life in college.
“Basketball. I used to play basketball back in high school. But over here I think it will take a lot of time. I need to get acquainted with the people who play over here because I can’t always play on my own. But there is always time for that in the future. Right now I just want to focus on my studies.”
What brought Hansen-Quartey to Monmouth is very similar to what brings other young adults to college.
“After the SAT, I was applying to schools and a friend told me about Monmouth,” he said.
“I did all of my paperwork and sent it all in. Eventually when the schools started coming back with their letters, I realized that Monmouth was the most affordable place to be. That’s what made my decision because they provided the most scholarships.”
Monmouth is a great place, but to Hansen-Quartey, it is not home. There are, however, some things about Monmouth and the United States in general that he really appreciates because it is so different from home.
“Everyone in Ghana is either Muslim or Christian,” he said. “There are very few differences. Here there are so many different religions.”
“Also here you are free to be gay … Back at home it is not like that. You dare not tell even yourself – you do not do that. And academically we were taught to just cram what is in the book and spit it right back in the exam hall, which is what you do from grade one all the way until you are finished with your PhD. Here there is freedom to do what you choose.”
Although every place has their good and bad sides, Hansen-Quartey seems to be very happy with his decision to come to Monmouth College.
He is excited about his studies and also the possibility of exploring what else this great place has to offer. Two months down, a life time to come.